Officials confirmed the first coronavirus related death in Orange County and say to consider any public site in the county as a potential site for COVID-19 exposure.

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On Wednesday, the Orange County Health Department reported the first death in Orange County as a result of COVID-19. The person died early Wednesday morning.

“We are saddened to learn that Orange County has its first death resulting from this crisis,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victim. We continue to urge the community to practice vigilance, social distancing and public health hygiene in an effort to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.”

The person was an Orange County resident over the age of 80, with multiple pre-existing medical conditions, officials say. Officials aren't released the person's gender or hometown.

Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman noted that COVID-19 has spread quickly throughout Orange County and she recommended that all residents stay home, including children and teenagers not in school, unless they must get food, medical supplies, or must go to work.

Gelman advised residents to consider any public site in Orange County as a potential site of COVID-19 exposure. Any events and gatherings of people still scheduled to take place in the coming weeks must be canceled or face fines imposed by Orange County.

If you become mildly ill, stay home and manage your symptoms. For residents who have severe symptoms indicative of COVID-19, contact your medical provider to discuss a plan of care. The Health Department is advising people with a mild illness to stay home and not get tested. Do not dial 9-1-1 unless you have an immediate medical emergency.

According to Gelman, the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, continues to be to practice basic, common-sense personal hygiene. This includes washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, refraining from touching your face and avoiding unnecessary contact with others.

Should you feel ill, contact your healthcare provider first. Do not go directly to the doctor’s office, an emergency room or other healthcare facilities. These simple steps will help prevent the spread of the virus and protect you and your loved ones.

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